KANEOHE, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A natural spring running through the property of a Kaneohe non-profit that is committed to teaching the community how to malama 'aina, or care for the land, was vandalized with graffiti over the weekend.
Papahana Kuaola Waipao hosts educational programs for everyone from preschool-age to the heads of local corporations with activities that focus on Hawai'i's cultural and natural history, environmental restoration, and economic sustainability.
On Sunday, workers discovered the area had been tagged with graffiti. Employees say some of the messages spray-painted across the rocks seem to indicate a turf-war. One of the vandals appears to have tagged his Instagram account name, but no one has stepped forward yet to take responsibility. Pictures of the graffiti were posted to various social media platforms Sunday night -- and shared and commented on by hundreds of people by Monday morning.
Heavy rainfall on Monday washed away some of the spray paint, while volunteers spent hours scrubbing whatever they could remove and painting over what they could not.
"The sad part about it is it's only going to hurt the children when they come up here after school to see what they did on Friday all washed away. We took away the weeds, but it was replaced by all this vandalism," said Ho'opono Wong, a Papahana employee.
Employees filed a report with police and an investigation is underway.